Chef Sunny Bang was born in Seoul, Korea and immigrated to the United States when he was 5-years-old. The Bang family landed in the Chicagoland area and relocated to Houston, Texas just before Chef Bang started high school.
His affinity with food began while helping his mom cook Korean feasts for guests at their home. “Mostly, I would watch her cook and eat copious amounts of raw bulgogi until my mom would chase me out of the kitchen complaining that there would not be enough left for her guests,” he says.
Years later, while living as an expatriate in Korea, Bang began substituting the lack of good western food in the area with recipes from Jamie Oliver’s “Return of the Naked Chef” cookbook. “I’d never cooked through a cookbook cover-to-cover,” he says. “I discovered that I had a knack for it. I guess, watching my mom all those years left its mark.”
He decided to leave his job working as a DJ and editor of the Samsung Economic Research Institute’s journal “Korean Economic Trends” to pursue his passion for cooking in New York. Upon graduating from the Institute of Culinary Education, he cut his teeth with Chef Tom Colicchio at Craft, Craft Bar and Craft Steak for 5 years, eventually earning the position of Chef de Cuisine at Craft Bar. He then worked as Chef de Cuisine for Executive Chef Sam DeMarco at Fireside Restaurant in the Omni Berkshire Hotel and thereafter, under Chef Kerry Heffernan at Southgate in the Essex House Hotel. Chef Bang next ventured into Brooklyn as the Executive Chef of the New Williamsburg Café before taking some time off for the birth of his son.
Since then, Chef Bang has been with the Strip House team. During his climb up the ranks to Executive Chef, he even launched a now defunct Probiotic Hot Sauce company that was featured in Bon Appetite magazine.
He now finds pleasure in cooking for and spending time with his family and friends and skateboarding, which he has been doing for 32 years.